Lies about Al-Qaeda/Iraq Connections

The lies told to get us into the Iraq War are voluminous, and their count has been growing for years. The latest entry in the ledger concerns the constantly invoked, yet untrue connection between Saddam's Iraq and Al Qaeda. The interweb veritably bristles with examples of Administration members claiming meaningful ties. Cheney was, and continues to be the worst offender in this regard, but he is not alone. In fact, I saw this on Fox News Sunday this morning:
Rice, giving a series of interviews ahead of the fifth anniversary of the September 11 Al-Qaeda attacks on the United States, brushed aside a recently released US intelligence report (PDF) saying there was no evidence Saddam's regime was helping Al-Qaeda obtain such arms.

"There were ties between Iraq and Al-Qaeda," she said on Fox News Sunday.
It's that sort of statement that led a sizeable majority of Americans to believe that, well, Iraq had ties with Al-Qaeda. Let's look at some non-partisan truth, and see if it matches Condi's rhetoric. From a 2005 CIA analysis:
The CIA assessed that prior to the war, "the regime did not have a relationship, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi and his associates."
Luckily, if you listen to Rush Limbaugh as much as I do you're smart enough to know that the CIA is just lousy with liberals bent on staging a silent coup of the government, controlling our foreign policy within the Agency rather than allowing the duly elected President to exercise his Constitutional authority over our foreign engagements. I know that whenever I think about the CIA, the first thought that comes to mind is "so that's where the ACLU gets its funding."

Even for a dittohead, though, the following passages from the Senate Intelligence Committee must give you pause, since it's Republicans that dominate the committee and the Senate. If Republicans write the report, it must be trustworthy, right?
The Committee uncovered no information in postwar Iraq about Saddam's intent to use terrorism in the event of a U.S. invasion... Saddam was resistant to cooperating with al-Qa'ida or any other Islamist groups. No information has been uncovered that indicates Iraq considered soliciting al-Qa'ida's assistance in attacks against the U.S.
Postwar findings indicate that Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qa'ida and viewed Islamic extremists as threats to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Qa'ida to provide material or operational support.
As recently as two weeks ago, President Bush said at a news conference that Mr. Hussein "had relations with Zarqawi.''
Put it together yourself. He's lying to you. The partisan pretzel you have to twist yourself into to believe that the Republican-controlled Intelligence Committee lied to politically damage the Republican President undoubtedly wont stop some from continuing to believe that Bush is honest, and the mean Republican Senators are just terrorist appeasers. ...Actually, I suppose if you were twisting yourself that much already, you'd go the extra mile and cast blame on the Democrats, despite the fact that it's the Republicans that authored the report. The fantasy world some Republicans have crafted for themselves is remarkably powerful.

If you need more citations for the established lack of a pre-war Al-Qaeda/Iraq connection, click the link below and be overwhelmed.

(h/t georgia10)

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